As the story of the church in Thessalonica was told, word got around about the beginning of their Christian lives. Verses 9 and 10 connect with verse 3:
The ‘turning’ is linked to ‘’faith’’: Repentance (or turning) is partnered with faith in the New Testament as part of the required response to the gospel. These are two sides of the same coin. There must be a turning from sin and a turning to God, as we trust Jesus, who died in our place, to take our guilt away.
The ‘serving’ is linked to ‘’love’’: Love is the ‘engine’ of the Christian life. We serve out of love, and not just because of duty. Love wants to give and sacrifice again and again, out of devotion to the Beloved.
The ‘waiting’ is linked to ‘’hope’’: The word translated ‘’wait’’ in (10) means to await someone expectantly with patience and confidence. It does not mean idleness but involves activity and endurance. ‘’A local church that truly lives in expectation of seeing Jesus Christ at any time will be a vibrant and victorious group of people.’’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (NT)’, p.707. I heard someone say that the doctrine of the second coming of Christ is meant to be ‘’a sanctifying edge’’ in our experience.
When I lived in Leeds in the 1980’s, I became friends with a lovely family who owned a baker’s shop in Beeston. The bakery, where they made their own produce, was behind the shop. One day I was visiting them, and one of them said, ‘’You always have to keep the shop clean because you never know when the Public Health Inspector is going to call!’’ I could immediately see an application to our belief in Christ’s return. It is not that Christians should dread the event, but knowing its reality should spur us on to live soberly and with all due reverence. In the Bible, this doctrine is taught perpetually without date to keep us on our toes.
I was speaking at a ‘Young Life’ event one week-end. I was told that one of the girls applied her make up before bed, saying frivolously, ‘’I want to look good if Jesus comes back tonight.’’ The truth is, so do I. I want to look good in His eyes with a beauty inside that both reflects and pleases Him.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to really believe in your return. Cause this truth to be in my heart and not just my head, so that my life is changed.